Lust, Greed, and Gluttony oh My!

Lust; what is lust?  If you look it up in a dictionary or online you will find a definition that ties lust to a strong sexual desire. You'll use words like desire, and passion to define lust. An over-mastering or uncontrolled (illicit) sexual desire. I have also heard of lust being an appetite, or one of the strongest emotions. Lust does not only have to be of a sexual nature, you can have a lust for power, or for an extravagance.

 To have a lust for life is a good thing, right? To boldly take big bites of all that the world has to offer you, to greedily posses the bright colors of the day, finding joy in all things and adventure in all experiences. This is being on top of the world isn't it?

 Greed is king! It sure seems to make the world go around too, doesn't it? But what is the definition of greed? A selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food. Wikipedia says that greed is an insatiable longing for unneeded excess, to acquire or posses more than needed. So greed is selfish, but isn't there virtue in being selfish? (The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand) Lust is an appetite, and greed can be a longing for food. Then what is gluttony?

 Gluttony derived from the Latin word "glutties" which means to gulp down or swallow. It is commonly used to describe over indulgence or over consumption of food or drink. Gluttony is not appealing at all, yet it shows, it is visually apparent, though many of us would never admit to gluttony.

 These three sins Lust, Greed, Gluttony represent Sex, Money, and Food which most people would all agree are not bad things. Actually, the more the better, right? Let's go one step deeper into the motion of these sins; really Lust is more about the desire then about sex, and greed is more about gain or acquisition, than purely money. Gluttony is not just about food, but the consumption or the use of consumables. Again these actions are not bad, Desire is a great motivator, and acts of obtaining and consuming are not bad at all. So why call these sins at all?

 When these motivations become our master, instead of our own personal temperance, this is when it becomes sinful. The warning is in the tipping point in going overboard. Of course this is somewhat subjective, because we may be walking on the edge of a precipice without falling in, when someone else sees us as falling deeply without hope. The gift of being human though, is that even if we tip over a point, we are still on some sort of footing that we can crawl back from if we go too far. It takes effort to get back over that edge if our desire turns to lust, if our acquisitions turn to greed, if our desserts turns us into to gluttons. We can be redeemed. There is a spiritual lesson there, but also one in physics. Once over the edge, there is a momentum that is actually working against you to get back to being in control of your desires. There is a word that comes to mind, which is diligence, which is a watchful eye turned inwardly to check ourselves, it also requires action and a PUSH to keep these motivation spectrums in an area where self control masters them.

 The warning is to be diligent, to have self control. To activate our discipline while pushing our motivations to their highest level without them taking control from us. It is a balancing act to manipulate these energies to their maximum efficiency but there is a secret here to help you gain control. Remember that these are all energies we have in us already, it is just the reins on these energies that we need to master as we unleash the hooves of these energies. Not running wild but with eye to make sure a winning stride is achieved. YES, I am really talking about exercise here. It is the same discipline to get up off the couch and go do forty five minutes of high cardio workout. PUSHing yourself this way will build in habits of getting past those pulling effects of sin. Think of the uncontrolled mark as a crest of a hill, if you go over, you now have gravity working against you, and you will have extra work to get back into the virtuous part of the spectrum. Another point to be wary of, is when we are on that sinful side of the hill, it tends to pull other of those energies with it - so not only one energy is affected, many are.

 If you have ever put on weight, and then later try to lose it, you will know that it is much easier to get fat, then it is to become fit and healthy again, the good news is, that while you are still breathing, you can start PUSHing towards that goal. Commitment is something we have to reawaken with each morning. Applying faith to the work that gets us anywhere, it is not the end goal, for really there is no END when we talk about energies, it is about the applications of those energies to make our life better that needs discipline and focus.

 Summarising, don't think that sex, money, or food are bad. Desires, building wealth, or eating delicious meals are not bad either. It is just when these ideas master you. Be strong my friends, you can gain control again even if you feel you have lost control. Get help if you need to gain control again, because it might be more effort than you can master right now, but there is hope no matter how far away from that tipping point you are. Commit yourself to being stronger and adding more discipline into your life, which means that you love yourself enough to do what is best for you, so you can be the best for those around you. Stay out of the pull of these three sins, but don't become ambivalent to the motivations that will help build you to a better you.


John "Z" Zeydel your PUSH coach - author of Emotional Mapping